Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bergen Volunteer Center’s Redefining Retirement Program Begins a New Season

Currently, Redefining Retirement is working with the five Bergen County “Age Friendly” Communities— Englewood, Garfield, Ridgewood, Teaneck, and Westwood — plus Hackensack, leading once-a-month informal Information Sessions in those towns.

2018 Information Sessions are currently scheduled as follows:
·         Englewood Library, Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00:  October 9, November 13, December 11       
·         Garfield Library, Mondays 11:00 – 1:00: October 1, November 5, December 3  
Hackensack--Johnson Public Library, Wednesdays 12:00 – 2:00: October 3, November 7, December
·         Ridgewood Parks and Recreation Department, 10:00 – 12:00:  Tuesday October 9, Wednesday November 7, Monday, December 10  
·         Teaneck Library, Tuesdays 11:00 – 1:00:  October 2, November 6, December 4  
·         Westwood Community Center, Thursdays 9:00 – 11:00:  October 4, November 1, December 6

 “One of our overarching goals is to help Bergen County as a community understand the asset and valuable resource older adults are and will continue to be as our society ages chronologically, but not necessarily mentally or physically,” says Louisa Hellegers, who leads the Redefining Retirement program.

Since the launch of Redefining Retirement a year ago, over 50 volunteers have been matched with volunteer roles. Volunteers have been placed at Meals on Wheels North Jersey; Bergen Family Center, Englewood Community Chest, Holy Name Hospital, Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Ridgewood Historical Society/Schoolhouse Museum, Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, and Garfield YMCA, to name a few. 

For more information, contact Louisa Hellegers, Manager of Redefining Retirement, at or call 201-489-9454, x205.

Monday, September 24, 2018


Every summer for the past 8 years the Parisian Beauty Academy, a Paul Mitchell Partner School in Hackensack, has invited the Mentoring Moms families of the Bergen Volunteer Center to their state of the art salon for a private event.  This annual event is a family favorite for mothers who often struggle to make ends meet and can’t afford routine haircuts in a professional salon. The cosmetology students, instructors and staff at Parisian offer free haircuts so that every mom and child who attends the event leaves the salon with an attractive haircut and a smile on his/her face.

Thank you to the staff of Parisian Beauty Academy for your continued commitment to help others in the community. Through your benevolent act, you have also increased the self - confidence of others.  Amelia Earhart noted, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."  New trees are springing up in schools and homes because you gave.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SUCCESSFUL AGING How Not to Fall into Fall – Standing Tall Against Falls

Fall which begins on Saturday, September 22, 2018 is a favorite time of year for many people. The leaves begin to display their beautiful colors, we take longer walks as the evenings become cooler and families and friends gather to celebrate various holidays. September 22, 2018 is also significant because it is the first day of, National Fall Prevention Awareness Week. This is a time to raise awareness and discuss preventative measures about ‘falls’ which is one of the biggest threat to our senior adults and family members. According to the CDC, an elderly person dies every 20 minutes due to a fall. Alarming!

  • One in 3 adults fall each year. 
  • Falls are the most common cause of hospital admission for trauma. 
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. 

Listed below are some things that may help to reduce your risk of falling:

  • Exercise : Engage in regular physical activity, especially balance and strength building. 
  • Medication: Ask your doctor if your medication increases your risk of falling. 
  • Vision: Have regular examinations. 
  • Technology : Alarms, Stair lifts (
  • Home Safety: Identify and correct falling, slipping or tripping hazards. 

The CHORE program at the BERGEN VOLUNTEER CENTER can also play a critical role in the improvement of your loved one’s safety in the home. The CHORE volunteers ensure that senior citizens and the disabled remain independent and safe in their homes with a reduced risk of falling by installing grab bars and railings. All CHORE labor is performed for free by BVC volunteers; clients only cover the cost of materials.

Stand Tall Against Fall as you explore and enjoy the bounties, splendor and celebrations of Fall!

Friday, September 7, 2018


CHEER is Bergen Volunteer Center’s newest program and is funded by a grant from the Bergen County Department of Human Services as well as from community corporations, private foundations, and individual donors.

CHEER provides a helping hand to isolated and frail seniors of Bergen County which allows them to retain their independence. Trained CHEER aides and volunteers conduct weekly visits to assist with shopping, errands, laundry, and light housekeeping. Aids and volunteers often develop lasting relationships with these seniors as they offer companionship and, whenever possible, create opportunities for them to be engaged in their communities.

CHEER has had the privilege of partnering with a number of Schools for those with Autism in Bergen County. These partnerships have been beneficial not only to our clients (the seniors) but also to the students. The students practice skills that, when integrated, increase their ability to live independent lives while being effective contributing members of society.  These student volunteers may be at different points on the Autistic Spectrum but the over- arching goal of this partnership for the students is progress towards independence, productivity, integration and self-sufficiency.

Samantha M., a student at Alpine Learning Group Inc. has been a CHEER volunteer for the last two years.  Her behavior specialist has reported that during that time Samantha has made progress and improved her skill set  in many areas and is now able to :

  • Navigate the aisles in a supermarket independently
  • Identify and select items from a given list
  • Categorize and arrange fragile/non fragile items
  • Engage clients in conversation
  • Establish a routine with her clients

This is a win-win situation because not only are the client’s needs met but Samantha’s social and communication skills are improving and she is also able to transfer skills from one client/situation to the next. As stated by Cortney Debiase, teacher/behavior specialist of ALG Inc., “ She ( Samantha) has built a wonderful relationship with her client and upon entering the home, they both light up and greet each other. It has been a wonderful pairing and Samantha looks forward to going shopping and seeing her clients”.

The CHEER program continues to provide on-going opportunities for the students to learn and/or continue to develop valuable new skills. To get more information about the CHEER program, contact Michele Ogden at 201-489-9454 x 203 and /or